Does the Form 4473 have to be retained if the customer does not complete Section B and a NICS check is never initiated?

No. If the customer did not complete Section B of the Form 4473 and no National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check is initiated, then despite Section A being completed by the federal firearms licensee (FFL), that particular form is not required to be retained.

[27 CFR 478.129(b)

Last Reviewed July 8, 2021